‘Learning to Fly’ group helps teens cope with stress

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Unified Therapy Clinic in McCook offers a range of services, including new groups targeted specifically to help teens navigate adolescence. Staff includes office manager Sarah Powers, from left, Sandra Gray, PLMHP, who leads the “Learning to Fly” teen group and Haley Nosal, massage therapist. McCook Gazette

McCOOK, Neb. — Kids in junior and senior high have a lot on their plate. And it's more than just football, homecoming and homework.

"Kids are adjusting to an enormous amount of stressors during those years," said Sandra Gray, PLMHP (provisional licensed mental health practitioner) at Unified Therapy Clinic in McCook. “The transition through junior high and high school is often riddled with anxiety, hormonal fluxes, and relational struggles, and we want to give kids the skills that will help them thrive through these years,” she said.

Gray is the facilitator of the 'Learning to Fly" coping skills group for teens and pre-teens. Classes are for two groups, one for 6th through 8th grade, the other for 9th through 12th grade, and consist of three sessions.  Participants meet weekly for three weeks and participate in a variety of activities related to the education provided.  

Gray offers education and strategies, then the kids are able to share and provide real-life challenges they are facing. By using the education and strategies provided, kids learn from each other how to solve the stressors they’re facing.

Some of the issues Gray talks about include communications styles, the importance of listening skills, setting boundaries and what healthy boundaries look like.

Adolescence is "a roller coaster regardless," Gray said and the "Learning to Fly" groups hope to make the transitions a little easier. The cost is $25 for the three-week group.  Scholarships are available for those with a financial hardship.

For women, "Let Go" relaxation classes are offered on four different dates in October through Dec. The single session seminars are offered during morning and evenings to accommodate a variety of schedules.  "Let Go" includes guided relaxation methods, relaxation breathing techniques and a hand massage. Classes are $10 each. "This is a place for women to go...to take some time out for themselves," Gray said. "If we don't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of those around us." Classes for men may be forming in the future, she said, depending on demand.

For more information on "Learning to Fly" coping skills group and "Let Go" relaxation sessions, call Unified Therapy at (308) 345-4884.

Unified Therapy Clinic is owned by Rebecca Wiemers, LCSW. It offers a wide range of counseling, from family and group to individual, as well as life coaching, marriage counseling and meditation/relaxation therapy.

Their office is located at 212 E. First in McCook.

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